December 7, 2011I called my cousin Tap Lou this morning and asked her about Tom Crabtree and she told me all about the Kingman cowboy and the photo I ran of him yesterday.
Tap told me that Tom Crabtree worked all over Mohave County as a cowboy and that everybody knew him. He was a friend of my grandfather, Bob Guess, and they often visited, and Tap Lou can remember them talking about all sorts of things. She said, "he knew more than I wanted to know."
She also related how he worked out on the ranch with the water tank, near Lone Mountain (the Neal Ranch today). My aunt Jean Linn remembers the horse Tony, the horse in the photo, and also Little Tony. These horses begat a series of big and little names, like Dammit and Little Dammit, Durnit and Little Durnit. Durnit sired Cleo and Cleo is the horse I grew up riding and taking care of.
When we moved to Kingman in 1956, I desperately wanted a horse of my own. And my mother worked out a deal for me to take care of Cleo. I got home from school and fed her and watered her and rode her.
Anyway, it wasn't Tom Crabtree who went on the trip with my mother in 1940. My mother graduated from Mohave High School in 1939, so she was fresh out of school. So the mystery is half solved. Tap Lou seconded Aunt Jean's memory of a trip with a certain cowboy but didn't offer who the cowboy was.
Going to Vegas tomorrow for Cowboy Christmas. We have a booth at Mandalay Bay. Had a blow-up poster made of our Arizona Centennial cover art. Here's Robert Ray and Meghan Saar standing in front of it.
Meanwhile, Dan The Man Harshberger came up with a design for our proposed 12th issue, which will come out next year:
—John J. Bernet